Sales of anti-mosquito products on the rise

SINGAPORE - As the dengue threat continues to hover over our island, some Singaporeans are stocking up on repellents and taking extra precautions at home.

Mosquito repellent products have been flying off the shelves, a check with three retailers showed.

The Home-Fix chain said there has been an 18 per cent increase in the sale of mosquito and pest repellent products at its stores.

A Home-Fix spokesman said the do-it-yourself chain-store noticed the increase during two periods - November last year to January this year and February to April this year.

One of their best-selling products is a device that can be plugged into an electrical socket and covers up to 5,000 sq ft, which is about the size of a basketball court.

Over at Watsons Singapore, marketing and merchandising director Micheas Chan said mosquito repellent sales have seen a "double-digit percentage increase" since the rise in the number of dengue cases this year.

Patches

Watsons' best-selling anti-mosquito weapon are patches.

NTUC Unity has also sold more mosquito repellent products. There has been a 20 per cent increase in mosquito repellent sales, from the last quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of this year, said a spokesman.

The mosquito repellent patches are the top-sellers, followed by mosquito repellent spray.

Dengue infections reached a record high this year and the Government has responded with a campaign to stop its spread.

Areas flagged as dengue hot spots here include Tampines Streets 12, 21, 22, 71, 82, 83 and 84, Tampines Central, Tampines Avenue 8, Yishun Industrial Street 1 and Yishun Street 23, reported the NEA's dengue.gov.sg website.

Speaking to The New Paper, residents in Tampines said they are taking necessary precautions.

Miss Syafiqah Omar, 19, who lives in Block 708, Tampines Street 71, said she is aware of cases in her area.

"NEA officers came to our home twice this year. They checked for possible mosquito breeding areas and they advised us on what to do," said the Singapore Polytechnic student.

Miss Syafiqah said that her family bought two bottles of mosquito spray last week.

"I'm actually very worried. Even if I'm doing my part, I'm not sure if everyone in the neighbourhood is. Everyone should be contributing to the effort to fight dengue," she said.

Mr Randall Goh Qing Hui, 21, who lives in Block 245, Tampines Street 21, said there are a lot of notices around his estate to warn residents about dengue.

But Mr Goh, who works as a chef, said his family is not stocking up on mosquito repellents even though he was floored by dengue fever last year.

"I had a very high fever and was in hospital for a few days but I recovered," he said.

"I feel that we don't have to be overly worried, so long as we take the necessary precautions - like keeping the home free from stagnant water," he said.

Miss Ong Jing Ting, 20, who lives in Block 246, Tampines Street 21, said her family has stocked up on mosquito sprays.

"We spray our home with mosquito repellent once a week. We'll spray, then lock the rooms for a few hours, " said Miss Ong who lives in a four-room flat with her parents and sister.

The family has been taking precautions against mosquitoes even before the dengue outbreak. "Since we've done what we've always been doing to fight dengue, it should be safe," said Miss Ong.

At one time, Miss Ong saw a notice stating that there were 112 dengue cases in her area. The notice was last updated on April 10, she said.


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